Hooniverse Asks Bonus: Best Cheap Compact Truck Under $6k?

Who’s up for some recreational car truck shopping? I’ve got a co-worker in need of a truck to haul crap around. She and her beau just bought a classy mobile home (it’s the Silicon Valley version of a trendy loft), and they’re neck deep in Home Depot/Lowe’s Runs. They’re looking to unload an older (stickshift!) Accord and pick up a cheap truck for cheap truck stuff. Cheap truck stuff includes:

  • Hauling large objects
  • Hauling dirt/compost/yard stuff
  • Hauling a motorcycle or two
  • (Maybe) making use of four-wheel-drive to avoid putting on chains for ski trips to Tahoe

Cheap truck stuff probably doesn’t include:

  • Serious offroading
  • Towing anything really heavy
  • Regular commute duty
  • Endless upgrades, modifications or working on it

She’s isn’t overwhelmed by a vehicle that needs maintenance, but she’s not into car stuff for car stuff’s sake. That said, something that’s got some character isn’t too bad. Right now a leading candidate is this guy, but it’s a question of just how much of a POS it actually is. My counsel was Rangers are crappy but cheap and cheap to own while Toyotas Hiluxes/Tacomas are much better, but much spendier. I’m leery of S10s, Durangos, and Nissans in this price range, but my real exposure to them is pretty limited. She’s shopping on SF Bay Craigslist, but even some general wisdom and recommendations for what to look for or avoid in this price range (under $6k) would be helpful.

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